23 Oct


After the heavy duty blogging the past three days, I think I’ll try to tone it down to a low roar with a assemble of the live box set collections released throughout the band’s history. By the time you get to the end of this entry, you’ll find that I’m really not the Yes completest I’m perceived to be.

So here I am scraping the bottom of the wikipedia barrel – oh, look – I nearly forgot:

Yessongs is a triple live album from the English progressive rock band Yes, released on Atlantic Records in May 1973.

It is both their last recording with drummer Bill Bruford, who is performing in two tracks of the album, before his departure, and their first recording with his replacement Alan White who plays in all other songs. Bruford would later return for the studio album 1991’s Union, who would feature both drummers as well.

Yessongs is Yes‘ first live album, made of recordings from their Fragile and Close to the Edge tours which occurred between February and December 1972.

The album received a mostly-positive reception from critics, with the most criticism directed towards its audio quality. It peaked at number 7 in the UK and number 12 in the US. The album was certified platinum in 1998 by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling over one million copies.

Yessongs, a film of the concert on 15 December 1972 at the Rainbow Theatre was released in 1975.

The Fragile tour tracks “Long Distance Runaround/The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)” and “Perpetual Change” are the only tracks on the album to feature Yes’s original drummer, Bill Bruford, who left the group after recording Close to the Edge. For that album’s tour, Yes were joined by drummer Alan White, who had only days to learn the material. White was only three years into his career as a session drummer, but had already worked with such acts as The Plastic Ono Band and Joe Cocker.

The album opens with an excerpt from Igor Stravinsky‘s Firebird Suite, which has been a standard opening Yes concerts ever since. Later in the album, vocalist Jon Anderson sings a passage from Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring before the medley from keyboardist Rick Wakeman.

The Rainbow Theatre in London was where the Yessongs film was recorded.


All band members except Anderson and White are given extended solo space. The track “Mood for a Day” is an unaccompanied guitar performance by Steve Howe, who also takes extended solos during “Yours is No Disgrace” and at the end of “Starship Trooper”. The Yessongs version of “The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)” is considerably longer than the studio version, with bassist Chris Squire taking an extended solo (and jamming with Bruford). Bill Bruford performs a drum solo on “Perpetual Change,” which is preceded by an extended guitar performance by Howe accompanied by Bruford and Squire. The album also contains a medley of excerpts from keyboardist Rick Wakeman‘s solo album The Six Wives of Henry VIII.

Some songs are extended to almost double the length of their studio counterparts as well as given a more high-octane performance.


The album featured no detailed recording credits. Two songs, “Close to the Edge” and “Starship Trooper”, can be established by audio comparison to be sourced from the same London Rainbow Theatre concert as the Yessongs film (15 December 1972). “Roundabout” is assumed to come from the Ottawa, ON show (1 November 1972) and “Yours is No Disgrace” from the Athens, GA show (14 November 1972) (both of these dates are purely anecdotal). The two tracks from the Fragile tour featuring Bill Bruford are generally assumed to come from the NYC Academy of Music shows on 19 and 23 February 1972 (based on text in the 1973 Australian Tour programme).


The album was initially released on three discs in a fold-out package featuring artwork by Roger Dean. Inside are four individual panels by Dean which continue a theme that began with Fragile in 1971. On the back cover of Fragile is an image of a small planet breaking apart into several large pieces with a giant sailing spacecraft nearby. The first panel in Yessongs, titled “Escape”, shows the craft apparently leading the planetary fragment through space. The second panel (“Arrival”) depicts these fragments landing in the waters of a new world. In the third image (“Awakening”) this new landscape becomes the habitat for various plant and animal species. The final image (“Pathways”) depicts the emergence of civilisation (Dean’s cat walked across this piece whilst still wet and its paw prints can be clearly seen). This theme is also the basis of the film Floating Islands. The sailing craft was used as a small logo on many of the band’s subsequent albums, and the image sequence inspired Yes vocalist Jon Anderson‘s first solo album Olias of Sunhillow in 1976, although Roger Dean was not involved with that album’s artwork.


Yessongs was one album I always looked forward to play on my Pioneer sound system I bought as a kid when I had three paper routes to rub together to my name. Some nights were spent in my room in Parsippany, NJ with the three record set jamming out of my headphones and served as a sometime lull into deep sleep before school the next morning. Like the Wikipedia entry states, It was the star-studded debut of long time drummer Alan White. I first saw the concert film at my local General Cinema theater on Route 46 located across the street from Parsippany City Hall as part of their Saturday midnight concert series which also included Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same and Pink Floyd’s Live at Pompeii.


Yesshows is the second live album by British progressive rock group Yes. Released shortly after the appearance of Drama, Yesshows comprises live performances ranging from the summer of 1976 to the supporting tour for Tormato in 1978. The album’s release was supervised by bassist Chris Squire.

Yesshows was remastered and expanded in 2009 by Isao Kikuchi, and published by Warner Music Japan as part of their “Yes SHM-CD Papersleeve” series.

Like the group’s previous live album, Yessongs, Yesshows begins with a recording of Igor Stravinsky‘s Firebird Suite. Unlike the Yessongs version, the band members may be heard playing in tandem with the Stravinsky track on this recording.

Although Rick Wakeman is the keyboardist on most tracks, the 1976 performances (“The Gates of Delirium” and “Ritual – Nous Sommes du Soleil”) feature Patrick Moraz. Moraz left Yes just before the recording of Going for the One.

On the original double vinyl LP, “Ritual (Nous Sommes Du Soleil)” was split in two, with its second half continuing on Side D of the record. For the CD edition, it was stitched back together, although each part is allotted its own track number.

The album shows photographs of the band’s late 1970s live stage performances. Around 1977 they developed the idea of a circular rotating stage, known informally as performing “in the round”, with Jon Anderson’s microphone hanging from the ceiling of the venue.

Good memories of this one. Both my half-sister Bernadette and my high school gal pal Linda Freeman (now Yarosh) bought this double disc set as a gift for my 17th birthday. I don’t know whose copy I had to take back to get exchange (maybe it was Linda’s) but I was real ecstatic about this collection because it featured two live performances with Patrick Moraz. Like I mentioned in a previous blog, Linda also purchased another piece of Yes essential tool for either Christmas or my birthday, The Yes Complete tablature book which I still use to this day for my keyboards.

The tablature book of music composed by Yes was a birthday present given to me by Linda Freeman of which I still possess to this very day.

The tablature book of music composed by Yes was a birthday present given to me by Linda Freeman of which I still possess to this very day.

9012Live: The Solos is the third live album by Yes. Released as a mini LP in 1985, the album features solos from each of the five band members, plus live versions of two songs from their 1983 album 90125.


Missing from the Yes “expanded and remastered” 2003/2004 series by Rhino/Warner (like Yessongs, Yesshows and Big Generator), 9012Live was finally remastered and expanded in 2009 by Isao Kikuchi; the album was published by Warner Music Japan as part of their “Yes SHM-CD Papersleeve” series.

The video of the show, directed by Steven Soderbergh, released as 9012Live the same year, features all of the concert instead of just the solos. A 2006 reissue featured previously unseen material and a director’s cut without the 1950s

I bought this on cassette during the time I was briefly living in Kansas City in early 1986 with two of my cousins from my dad’s side. My redneck cousin Richard Mann the III couldn’t stand Yes, so he took the cassette tape out of my machine and used it as a target for skeet shooting during a time when we were camping out in the Ozark Mountain. Fucking asshole.


Yesyears is a career-spanning collection of music by progressive rock band Yes released as a four-disc box set in 1991. It was compiled following the release of Union and Yes’s departure from Atlantic Records, with whom they had been contracted since 1969 (and the offshoot label Atco Records since 1983). Yesyears covers the band’s musical story from 1969’s debut Yes to studio material recorded with Billy Sherwood following Jon Anderson‘s departure in 1988.

One of the major attractions of YesYears was its inclusion of rare material, including many previously unreleased songs, and a full-colour booklet detailing Yes’s history.

A condensed version of this package, entitled Yesstory, would be released in 1992 on two discs.

Yesyears was deleted in the late 1990s, preceding the release of Rhino Records‘ (five-disc) box set In a Word: Yes (1969 – ) in 2002. Most of the material found on Yesyears but not on In a word would surface on Rhino’s reissues of Yes albums in 2003 and 2004

Owned and listened to this a lot while I was living with Joe and Mark Zullo in a beat up rat trap in Van Nuys before moving to a house in Northridge. Some notable gems are the “Run with the Fox” single that Chris Squire and Alan White recorded together once Yes was first dissolved as a band in 1981 following the disappointing sales of album and European tours for Drama and a another Billy Sherwood and Chris Squire collaboration was included on the final track of this collection entitled “Love Conquers All.” that supposedly an outtake from “Union.” from the Yes West Camp.  Also there were rare b-sides and unreleased sessions that were all later re-released on many of Rhino’s 2003-2004 remaster series of the entire Atlantic Records catalogue. The release of the 2002 collection Yes – In a Word (1969 – made this rather obsolete.


An Evening of Yes Music Plus is a live album by the English progressive rock side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (ABWH). Released on 12 October 1993, it was recorded at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California on 9 September 1989 in a concert that was shown live on pay-per-view in the United States.

The album contains material from ABWH’s self-titled album, songs from past Yes records and excerpts from keyboardist Rick Wakeman‘s solo work. Tony Levin, who played bass on the studio album as well as most of the tour, was ill during the concert recorded on this album. He was replaced by bassist Jeff Berlin.

ABWH had lost the legal rights to use the name of their parent group Yes. It was agreed that they could refer to their origins in Yes on tour posters and merchandise. The cover features a painting by Roger Dean titled “Floating Islands”.

The album was released in the US by Herald/Caroline Records without the title on the cover

I had this album, but it somehow mysteriously disappeared during the time I was living with Joe Zullo and his egocentric wife, Carol Horror Show Hamilton. It might have been one of the cds destroyed during the Northridge Earthquake, or Joe simply forgot to pack it when he got laid off from Universal Music.


Something’s Coming: The BBC Recordings 1969–1970 is a compilation of live recordings by the progressive rock band, Yes. They are the only live recordings to feature the band’s original lineup. It is a compilation of the band’s early performances on BBC radio. The two-disc set features liner notes from original guitarist Peter Banks, who was fired from the band shortly after these recordings were made.

The album was released only in 1997, with supervision and notes from Banks.

The US edition (licensed by Purple Pyramid, Cleopatra Records) is titled Beyond and Before: BBC Recordings 1969–1970

Harry Perzigian had this collection at his place. He even had the poster framed and hanging on his bathroom wall. I figured I had most of these tracks on some bootleg recordings, so it wasn’t a priority for me to own.


Regrettably, original guitarist Peter Banks had become the first member of Yes to pass from this mortal coil in March of 2013 of congestive heart failure at his home in London. He was supposed to show up for a session to one of Billy Sherwood’s many tribute compilations. His family was so broke that his body was left in the morgue for weeks before money was raised by online campaigns for a proper burial. I had a rare chance to see Peter Banks perform a few acoustic numbers at the YesFestival held at the Red Lion Inn in Glendale, California in the summer of 1994.


House of Yes: Live from House of Blues is a double live CD by progressive rock band Yes. The album was recorded on Halloween night in 1999 at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, Nevada, during touring obligations for the band’s studio album, The Ladder. Guitarist Billy Sherwood had already left Yes by the time House of Yes: Live from House of Blues was released in September 2000, and keyboardist Igor Khoroshev was fired later that year after a controversy involving backstage sexual harassment at Nissan Pavilion near Washington, D.C., making of House of Yes the last Yes release with any of them. Following these departures, Yes had reverted to the four core members of Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe and Alan White.

House of Yes: Live from House of Blues was also released as a DVD and both formats of the project were generally well-received critically and by Yes’s legions of fans. It did, however, omit the footage of Yes playing “Close to the Edge” and “Hearts” at the show.

I still have the VHS copy of this show packed away somewhere. One thing I omitted from my HOB performance in my Ladder Yes Log entry was that my old boss George C. Ody from my vitamin packing job in Solana Beach during 1985 – 1989 was working the merchandise booth for Yes. How did the hell did he get that gig I wonder? I was told that the band’s manager at the time was a family friend of his wife.


Symphonic Live is a DVD and live album from the English progressive rock band Yes. The concert was recorded at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam on 22 November 2001, with the European Festival Orchestra conducted by Wilheilm Keitel. It was first released on DVD in 2002 and on CD in 2003 and 2009 by Eagle Rock Entertainment.

Keyboardist Rick Wakeman was invited by the band to perform at this concert, but this did not happen because of scheduling conflicts. In his place on the tour was Tom Brislin.

Had it, but I don’t intend to keep concert dvds hanging around so I might have traded it in for emergency cash or maybe I have it on a VHS tape in a box someplace. I might have to consign a search party to go through my storage boxes one of these days.


Yes, In A Word (1969 – is a 5-CD box set by progressive rock band Yes encompassing their entire career from its inception in 1969 to 2001, including material from the 1989 Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe album. It was released in 2002.

The sonically improved and more expansive successor to 1991’s Yesyears, In a Word: Yes (1969 – ) marked the beginning of Yes’s association with Rhino Records, who would remaster and reissue the band’s core Atlantic Records catalogue throughout 2003 and 2004 – while adding many of Yesyears previously unreleased performances as bonus tracks on the individual newly remastered CDs re-release in 2008 is completely remastered.

The booklet contains essays by Chris Welch and Bill Martin, as well as forewords from Rush bassist Geddy Lee and Phish drummer Jon Fishman

Already covered this box set in my Yes Log 2004 and Yes Log 2011 entries. It’s gems include heavily edited versions of the 1979 Golden Age sessions, A XYZ jam called Crossfire, some Tormato outtakes, and expanded versions of the Revealing Science of God and I Would Have Waited Forever, along with a outtake from the Magnification sessions, Last Train. Highly recommended.


The Word is Live is a live box set by progressive rock band Yes and was released in 2005 through Rhino Records.

Considered the live companion to 2002’s studio In a Word: Yes (1969 – ) box set, The Word is Live serves to document the band’s live story from early BBC recordings in 1970 with Peter Banks to 1988 shows for Big Generator. All but the first two tracks were previously unreleased.

Many of the tracks were originally broadcast on radio shows and have been bootlegged extensively. In these, it is often the case that the radio show’s final mix was the only mix available so few improvements in quality could be done for the release. While a few of the recordings (mostly those from the 1980 tour) do feature a less-than-polished quality to them, The Word is Live is still considered a fine document of Yes in a concert setting.

The box set also comes with a 52 page book containing images and stories by Yes fans and praising retrospectives from artists such as John Frusciante from Red Hot Chili Peppers. The opening for the book was written by Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

The set includes several pieces not originally released as studio recordings by Yes, including “It’s Love”, an extended cover of a song by The Young Rascals, and “Go Through This” and “We Can Fly From Here” from the tour to support Drama, but which were not released on this album. The latter would eventually be reworked and released thirty-one years later in the album Fly from Here.

The title is presumably an alteration of the lyric “The word is love” from the song Time and a Word.

Don't let the looks deceive you, Rikki Lixxx was the worst girlfriend I ever had. Money sucking pill popping petty larceny leech is a more apt description of her.

Don’t let the looks deceive you, Rikki Lixxx was the worst girlfriend I ever had. Money sucking pill popping petty larceny leech is a more apt description of her.

Arriving home from purchasing this collection at Tower Records, I couldn’t wait to get this playing on my stereo in my cul-de-sac of hell apartment located in Van Nuys while I was living next door to porn actress Rikki Lixxx who I regrettably got romantically involved with. I started blasting this on my stereo and she started pounding on my bedroom wall (our bedrooms were next to each other). I went over to apologize and she answered the door in a see through lingerie and I was hooked by the sight of her privates peeking out, then the sudden realization hit me that my cunnilingus skills needed sharpening, of which she was more than obliged to give me a refresher course.


Live at Montreux 2003 is a 2007 live album from the English progressive rock band Yes. It is a live recording of the group’s headlining concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival on 14 July 2003. The performance was filmed and is also available on DVD/Blu-ray.

This is the first official album to feature the classic line-up of lead vocalist Jon Anderson, guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardist Rick Wakeman, bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White since the 1996/1997 Keys to Ascension live albums, along with a DVD also entitled Keys to Ascension. The album was released in 2007, during a hiatus in the band’s activity following a tour ending in 2004.

While Yes began offering USB Thumb Drive recordings of their concert performances in 2010, this was the most recent official live album by the band until In the Present – Live from Lyon 2 CD & 1 DVD album in 2011. The band’s previous live release Symphonic Live (2002), was recorded at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam on 22 November 2001, two years before Live at Montreux.

I didn’t think I was missing out on anything, so I skipped this collection.


Union Live is a 2-CD and 1-DVD live release by progressive rock band Yes on Voiceprint Records. It documents their “Union” tour of 1991, supporting the Union (1991) album.

In addition to the California Shoreline Amphitheatre show that was available in Japan as The Union Tour Live, the limited edition package includes a DVD containing the Denver McNichols Sports Arena show that has been available in trading circles for years, audience shot footage from the Florida Pensacola Civic Center show, bonus audio 5.1 mixes, and bonus audio tracks

Fairly recent release, don’t really need to put it on the shopping list anytime soon. Some of the band members weren’t really keen with the way those Union sessions turned out. Only Shock to the System, Take the Water to the Mountain, or Lift Me Up were the only songs from that album performed live – and if they weren’t really one hundred percent all the way with the way the product turned out, then neither was I. The tour was enjoyable at the time, but I have no desire to relive that experience.


In the Present – Live from Lyon is a 2 CD & 1 DVD album by Yes, released on 29 November 2011 in North America and 2 December 2011 in Europe. It is the first live album without ex-member Jon Anderson, who is replaced by Benoît David, and is also the only release with Oliver Wakeman as band member.

The album was recorded during Yes’ “In the Present” tour, which they undertook before their studio album Fly from Here (2011), which also features Benoît David on vocal

Ditto with this collection. Not a big fan of David Benoit, suffice to say. I rather think Benoit is better suited as a replacement for Steve Walsh, that is if Walsh ever decided to call it a night for Kansas.

Tomorrow, the final blog of this series will focus on Jon Anderson’s life and career as he approaches his 70th birthday this weekend,






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